cor·​ro·​sive | \ kə-ˈrō-siv How to pronounce corrosive (audio) , -ziv \

Definition of corrosive

1 : tending or having the power to corrode corrosive acids corrosive action the corrosive effects of alcoholism
2 : bitingly sarcastic corrosive satire

Other Words from corrosive

corrosive noun
corrosively adverb
corrosiveness noun

Examples of corrosive in a Sentence

She argues that racism is dangerous and corrosive to society. a corrosive satire on the fashion industry and its movers and shakers
Recent Examples on the Web As a former cop who grew up in the city, Mr. Adams appears to understand the corrosive effects of disorder. Seth Barron, WSJ, 17 Dec. 2021 But these exist because the appearance of corruption can be almost as corrosive for public faith in our institutions as corruption itself. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 17 Dec. 2021 While the deployment of these technologies can affect everything from public policy to social media platforms, their most corrosive impact on any enterprise is the undermining of trust. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 15 Oct. 2021 Mossari is the latest tech executive to be grilled by the committee about what critics call the corrosive effects of social media on children. Daniela Altimari,, 9 Dec. 2021 Life as a professional actor can be — and very much has been — a corrosive force in the lives of many children for the entire history of Hollywood, an uneasy fact that seems to sit in the corner of her mind. Adam B. Vary, Variety, 18 Nov. 2021 Humankind as destructive, culture as corrosive, progress as decline: these are old saws, dull from use, dull from their stalemate combination of truth and falsity. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, 5 July 2021 Companies have typically been foiled either by poor economics or by the brine’s highly corrosive nature. Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2021 Facebook as a product and Meta as a company have a reputation for being invasive, manipulative, and corrosive. Rob Walker, Fortune, 1 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'corrosive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of corrosive

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for corrosive

Middle English corrosif, borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Medieval Latin corrōsīvus, from Latin corrōsus, past participle of corrōdere "to gnaw, corrode" + -īvus -ive

Learn More About corrosive

Time Traveler for corrosive

Time Traveler

The first known use of corrosive was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near corrosive

corrosion fatigue


corrosive sublimate

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for corrosive

Last Updated

11 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Corrosive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for corrosive



English Language Learners Definition of corrosive

: causing damage to metal or other materials through a chemical process
: causing someone or something to become weak and damaged


cor·​ro·​sive | \ kə-ˈrō-siv How to pronounce corrosive (audio) , -ziv \

Kids Definition of corrosive

: tending or able to destroy, weaken, or wear away little by little corrosive substances


cor·​ro·​sive | \ -ˈrō-siv, -ziv How to pronounce corrosive (audio) \

Medical Definition of corrosive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: tending or having the power to corrode corrosive acids a corrosive gas

Other Words from corrosive

corrosiveness noun



Medical Definition of corrosive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance that corrodes : caustic

More from Merriam-Webster on corrosive

Nglish: Translation of corrosive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of corrosive for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!